After spending most of May and June in the doldrums or with COVID, July has been a blinder of a month and, true to my word of the year, all about me. So, without further palaver let’s get straight into it… Oh, before I do, don’t read this post if you’re hungry! (You have been warned…)
I spent the first few days of July in Queenstown, New Zealand with Sarah, my 24-year-old daughter. She and I have been going away together in July each year since she was a toddler – and I’m grateful she still wants to do it.
We’d cancelled this trip so often over the past two years that neither of us believed we were going until we had made it successfully onto the plane, through immigration in Queenstown, and passed the day 1 COVID test.
In any case, we made the absolute most of our (limited) time and had a ball. This may have been my 7th (or is it 8th?) visit to this amazing place, but there’s always something new to discover. I’ve already told you about the food and our Skippers Canyon tour, and will tell you about wine tasting and another 4WD tour – this time to Paradise Valley – over the next few weeks.
We no sooner arrived home than my brother and his family were in town for the school holidays. While they didn’t stay with us (and were here for my nephew’s cricket tournament), we got to catch up a number of times – including for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants on the coast, Sum Yung Guys.
Plus, my sister-in-law joined us at 5am for our beach walks. Now, that’s dedication.
Sarah and a couple of her friends made a trip down to the Sunny Coast one grogeous Saturday and we joined them for a picnic and a walk at Mary Cairncross Park in the hinterland. And no, I didn’t eat the donuts…
In book club we finally got together for our Persuasion inspired bake – Dorset Apple Cake. Unfortunately life has gotten in the way for us all of late, so we were missing Sue, but she was definitely with us in spirit.
My Kiwi bestie and her hubby finally made it across the ditch to visit. I say finally because I think this was 5th time lucky. In any case, given we were last all together Christmas 2019 in England, this was a fabulous catch-up with Grant and I enjoying their holiday almost as much as they did.
On the first weekend we walked the beach before sunrise and watched a group down there having a silent disco; hit the shops to prepare for the criuise we’re taking together in October; visited Honeysuckle – another of our favourite Sunny Coast restaurants – and took a trip into the Hinterland to Flame Hill Winery.
I changed my work days around the following week so we could make a quick visit to Hervey Bay to see Sarah and go whale-watching. Sarah, however, tested positive for COVID a couple of days earlier so our visit with her was from a safe distance. As for the whale watching, well the boat was turned back by bad weather just after leaving the harbour.
All was not lost as (unable to stay with Sarah) I was able to show them my favourite walks around the bay (we needed to walk miles!), visit my favourite cafes for brekky, Enzos for sunset cocktails, and my favourite restaurant in Hervey Bay – Odyssey.
The whole foodie extravaganza culminated in dinner cooked and served at home by a private chef – but you’ll need to wait until next week to hear more about that one.
To be honest there hasn’t been time for anything else.
I completed the copy edit for It’s In The Stars, and Philly Barker has come back from being formatted and is now ready for publication at the end of September. I am, however, running a loooong way behind on the new book. Hey ho.
On the last Friday of each month (Southern Hemisphere), the co-hosts of What’s On Your Bookshelf hold a link-up for readers to share their reflections and actions inspired by their Words of the Year (or goals/intentions for 2022). Sue, Deb, Donna and, of course, myself are looking forward to you joining us and sharing how you have focused on your WOTY during the previous month. The linky is below.